By Théo Chevalier | Published on 04/21/2020
Do you want to apply for an international position? Find our tips for writing your motivational email in the language of Shakespeare!
If the cover letter (“cover letter”) is not very popular in Anglo-Saxon countries, it is still in use, especially for young graduates, who must highlight their motivation and their soft skills, for lack of experience. The motivation email, meanwhile, is more suitable for experienced profiles and allows you to be more concise: between 4 and 15 lines, depending on your ability to write.
However, even if your oral English is impeccable, switching to writing can be complicated. And especially when it comes to writing the right forms of politeness. Here are some tips for writing your motivational email!
How to make an international CV?
straight to the point !
If it is tempting to write long sentences to support your remarks, the motivation email does not leave room for lyrical flights, especially since English culture favors a direct and spontaneous tone, “straight to the point”, that is to say “go to the essential”. Clarity, simplicity and efficiency are required to flirt with Anglo-Saxon pragmatism.
The name of the recipient is not indicated in the job description? Opt for “To whom it may concern”, which is equivalent to our generic formula “Madam, Sir”, although you double your chances of attracting attention by calling the company to identify the right person. If you know his name, use “Dear Mrs X” Where “Dear Mr Y”.
Catch the eye
Like the cover letter, you can write a catchphrase in the email to be sure to capture the attention of your interlocutor. Just be more concise. As a reminder, you can indicate what attracts you to the company, why you dream of doing this job or even put your skills in advance. If you lack inspiration, hang on to the usual formulations: “Currently a…”, “I am writing in reference to…”, “I am writing to you regarding the job…”, “After completing a … degree from…” Where “Your company recently advertised in …for a…”.
In the event that your application follows a meeting or a “piston” (which is moreover better perceived across the Channel than in France), you can specify: “Your name was given to me by…”.
A solid structure
The frame of the email is the same as that of the letter, namely: “you-me-us”, or “me-you-me-us” if your catchphrase is about you.
- The “you” corresponds to the company, its news, its needs
- The “me” are your skills acquired with your experience, and your soft skills
- The “we” takes up your skills, and highlights them to underline what you can bring to the company, what you can accomplish together. You can detail why the proposed missions interest you.
How to prepare for an interview in English?
Do not mix British English and American English
Be careful of the expressions and terms you use. Before writing, decide which language you are going to use, either British English or American English, depending on the company you are targeting and your recipient. Make sure your email is consistent, otherwise your lack of rigor will be pointed out.
Anglo-Saxon culture particularly appreciates references. Do not hesitate to offer yours at the very end of your motivation email, mentioning the contact details of the people who recommend you (without forgetting to ask them for their opinion beforehand) or specifying that they are available on request: “References available upon request”.
Errors ? Not you !
Don’t fall into the classic traps of false friends and literal translation. Here are some examples:
- “Advice” (advice) in the plural does not take an S. Advice: “Some advice”
- “Research” (search) is invariable. Researches : “Some research”
- To say “I managed to…”, you have to write: “I succeeded in doing…”
- “Actually” does not mean “currently” but “really, in fact”. To say “currently”, you must write “Now”, “At present” Where “Currently”
- To speak of a university license, we will say “Bachelor’s degree”, “Licence” meaning “driver’s license”
- “I had the opportunity to” translates to “I had the opportunity to”
Conclude your email
At the end of your email, do not hesitate to add a sentence such as “If you need any further information, feel free to contact me”, either “do not hesitate to contact me for more information” or “I look forward to hearing from you soon” which means “awaiting your reply”.
And conclude with a polite formula:
- Dear Mr…. Yours faithfully
- Dear Mrs… Yours sincerely
- Thank you for your consideration
However, avoidkind regards” and “best regards” which are to be reserved for colleagues and acquaintances.
How to do an internship abroad?
Motivational Email Templates
Here are two templates to help you get your first words down on paper. Do not forget to indicate your personal information at the top!
In case of spontaneous application:
Dear Mr/Mrs X,
Currently …[nom du poste ou diplôme]…., I am taking the opportunity to contact you as I am highly interested in a graduate position in your team/company.
My academic credentials coupled with my previous experience as a … within a …[type d’entreprise] make me think that I have both the skills and the background you are looking for.
To this end, please see attached my cover letter and my resume.
I thank you in advance for your consideration of my enthusiasm to work at XXX/in your company.
Yours faithfully,[Signature avec prénom et nom]
In response to a job posting:
Dear Mr/Mrs X,
I am writing to you regarding the job offer [intitulé de poste anglais] you posted on [jobboard concerné]. This offer caught my attention since I think I have both the skills and the background you are looking for.
It would be an outstanding opportunity for me to enter your company [ou nom de l’entreprise] and to continue to grow and develop the skills I learned during my [nom de votre ancienne entreprise] experience/ my previous experience
Please find attached my resume for your review.
I thank you in advance for your consideration of my willingness to work in your company. I would be happy to make myself available for interviews at your convenience.
Yours sincerely,[Signature : Prénom + nom]
The 12 rules of the motivation email